A few months ago (November 2011), I wrote an article about Stranded Knitting which is knitting with more than one color yarn. At the time, I promised to write about another technique, Intarsia.
With Intarsia Knitting you can knit shapes and motifs, which can be geometrical or any other shape. Unlike Fair Isle Knitting, in Intarsia the yarn is not carried across the back of work. The colors are joined together at the edge of the shape. For each color another ball of yarn is used. To keep the yarns from getting tangled, you can use bobbins. Also unlike Fair Isle Knitting where only two colors are used on each row, in Intarsia Knitting you may knit with more than two colors to create the motif you want.
Intarsia Knitting is mostly done in rows, and sweater pieces are sewn together later. Whereas it is easier to knit Fair Isle items in round and then cut them using the steeking technique.
Intarsia patterns are mostly represented as charts. Right-side rows are numbered on the right and are read from right to left, and wrong-side rows are numbered on the left and are read from left to right.
If you are interested in learning more about Intarsia, check out this month's featured class (K176 - Southwestern Tote Bag) by JC Briar. You will learn everything you need to know about this wonderful technique.
Nazanin S. Fard